Move Out of the U.S: 75 Best Towns and Cities to Move to Overseas—

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With search traffic for “how to move out of the U.S.” content up more than 1,307% on International Living’s website, the publication’s editors have created a new report detailing the 75 best towns and cities in Europe, South America, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for folks seeking better-value living options outside the States.

Coronado beach Panama

Coronado beach Panama

“At International Living, we’re seeing an extraordinary uptick in interest around an idea we’ve been exploring in-depth for more than 40 years. What people are discovering is that moving abroad can be much more accessible—and rewarding—than many people realize."

Since May 2020, International Living has seen a massive 1,307%. surge in traffic to its “How to Move Out of the U.S.” coverage, which identifies the steps for successfully planning a move.

Today, in response, International Living released a mammoth report detailing 75 towns and cities to move to across Europe, South America, Latin America and Southeast Asia where the cost of living is low, communities welcome expats, and the climate appeals.

“At International Living, we’re seeing an extraordinary uptick in interest around an idea we’ve been exploring in-depth for more than 40 years. What people are discovering is that moving abroad (whether part-time or full-time, in retirement or earlier) can be much more accessible—and rewarding—than many people realize.

“When they first come to this notion, people may think, ‘I’d like to retire to Costa Rica or I’d love to work remotely from France.’ But ultimately, you have to give that musing more specificity if you’re going to make it real. And so the next question is, inevitably: ‘Where would I actually go?’

“This report aims to answer that question, highlighting 75 welcoming, good-value towns and cities worth considering if you like the idea of lowering your cost of living and improving your quality of life. For instance, in one beach town we recommend on Costa Rica’s central coast, an expat community already exists, so settling in is easy, and a couple can live a short stroll from the beach for less than $30,000 a year—including rent on a 2-bed condo, utilities, cable and internet, call phones, groceries, transportation, health insurance and care, dining out, even miscellaneous expenses.

“We tapped our correspondents based around the world to help us identify specific towns and cities worth attention today—with an eye to providing a range of options. They’re on beaches, in the highlands, rural communities, and urban centers. There is no one place that’s perfect for everybody. But I’m willing to bet you can find among the 75 we profile a few that may be just right for you.”


Europe has so much to offer a potential expat…great food, a diverse choice of cultures, stunning countryside where life is quiet and relaxed and the buzz of the rat race seems a million miles away, awe-inspiring mountains for skiing, and soft, sandy beaches for whiling away summer days. The report details towns and cities in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France and the Czech Republic.

But isn’t Europe expensive? That’s the observation IL hears most about Europe and the answer is that yes, it can be…unless you know the right places to look.

Beyond well-known metropolises like Paris, Florence and Barcelona, the rest of the vast continent is a treasure trove of time-worn towns and affable villages... secret islands and dramatic landscapes. These are spots where old traditions hold sway, costs are far lower than what you’ll find in the best-known cities, the food and wine are excellent, the culture is rich, the history deep, and the pace of life is slow and civil. Take Coimbra, Portugal, for example, just two hours north of the capital, Lisbon.

The capital of Portugal from 1131 until 1255, Coimbra is located halfway between Porto and Lisbon on the Mondego River. The University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in the western world, sits high above the well-preserved medieval old town. Built on the site of a former palace, the university is famed for its Joanine Baroque library, 18th-century bell tower, and its black-cloaked student population which gives it a distinctly “Harry Potter” feel.

That being said, the town surrounding the university is quaint and agreeable rather than wild and party-like. There are many restaurants of all genres due to the diversity of the inhabitants, and two main shopping centers with a wide choice of stores and entertainment. To top it off, the city is very walkable, even with its many hills and cobbled alleyways.

A couple can live well here on a monthly budget of $2,207.

The Best Towns and Cities to Retire in Europe can be found, here.

Latin America

Central America and Mexico are popular choices for retirement for many Americans and Canadians. This is not surprising when you consider the great qualities the region has to offer—the close proximity to the U.S. and Canada, and its similar range of time zones, is a huge draw. The report explores towns and cities in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama.

Expats are also drawn by the relaxed lifestyle that is inherent throughout Mexico and Central America—a far cry from the hectic rat race that many expats experience in their working lives. On top of this, the region offers some of the most breathtaking natural beauty and scenery that the world has to offer—which is, of course, easier to enjoy when you combine it with the aforementioned relaxed lifestyle.

And most expats who live here are drawn by the undisputable low cost of living throughout the countries in this region—like, Merida, Mexico. Here a couple can live well on $1,434 to $1,740 a month renting a three-bedroom apartment.

Near the northern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, about 22 miles south of the Gulf of Mexico, lies the regal colonial city of Merida. This beautiful, vibrant city of some one million people offers culture, sports, modern infrastructure, world-class affordable medical care, and handy access to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s easy to understand why Merida has long been a favorite of expats. It is also among the most historically significant cities in all of Mexico.

Capital of the state of Yucatan, Merida’s ancient roots go back to, what was formerly, the Maya city of Tho´, also known as Ichkaanziho´. And it is Merida’s rich history and current indigenous influences, mixed with a modern lifestyle, up-to-date infrastructure, and a reduced cost of living that has attracted large numbers of expats.

The Best Towns and Cities to Retire in Mexico and Central America can be found, here.

South America

South America fits the bill for many expats when it comes to looking for the perfect retirement haven. In many countries in the region, you’ll enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, established expat communities, friendly, welcoming natives, good healthcare, and an ideal climate. The report details towns in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay.

But one of the main concerns of expats is what it will cost them to live overseas. This is where South America stands out—take Santa Marta, Colombia, for example, where a couple can live well on $1,190 – $1,790 a month renting a three-bedroom apartment.

Located on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast in the department of Magdalena, Santa Marta is quickly becoming a sought-after destination. With an average daytime high of 90 F and an evening low of 75 F, the warm, tropical climate is a magnet for those wanting an outdoor, ocean-focused lifestyle. The greater Santa Marta area offers history, beautiful white-sand beaches, water activities, ecotourism, trendy restaurants, and a growing nightlife.

Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and bakeries surround the plaza. The sounds of salsa, vallenato, and classic rock all blend together and make it difficult to keep your feet still.

The Best Towns and Cities to Retire in South America can be found, here.

Southeast Asia

Known for its perfect beaches, low prices, and excellent scuba diving, Southeast Asia usually conjures up images of young globe-trotting backpackers and sultry nights spent at a beach bar.

But this region is also a vast cultural melting pot…with something to appeal to everyone, these fabled lands of Southeast Asia still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas.

Whether you’re looking for tall, arching waves for surfing, or tranquil, cool waters for paddling; deserted and peaceful sands for relaxing, or crowded shorelines for partying; Southeast Asia has a perfect beach—and they come in every shade of sand imaginable.
To help folks find their perfect Southeast Asian beach destination, IL’s report compiles some the region’s best towns and cities in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Not only do these destinations offer breath-taking coastlines, but they also come with an affordable cost of living—take Hoi An, Vietnam for example.

Hoi An is a town oozing with charm and history. Once a sleepy riverside village, it’s now a tourist town, with hotels, restaurants, bars, tailors, and souvenir shops dominating the old center. Despite all of this, Hoi An’s charisma prevails.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the old town core has immaculately preserved architecture from its time as an important port, from the 15th to 19th centuries. Tourists flock to see the honey-colored, timber-framed buildings, and to pick out the Japanese, Chinese, and European influences. They also come to have couture clothing and shoes made for a fraction of the price it would cost to buy them back home.

But the old town is not where the slow trickle of expats has settled. Rather, the 300 or so foreigners living here are in neighborhoods close to Hoi An’s long stretch of breathtaking beach, where 18 miles of brilliant, golden sands fringe warm, tropical waters. About 12 miles out are eight small islands, which form a biosphere reserve where you can dive on coral reefs and explore the ruins of an ancient civilization.

A monthly budget for two people living comfortably in Hoi An runs at $1,115.

The Best Towns and Cities to Retire in Southeast Asia can be found, here.

Members of the media have permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to

Further information, as well as interviews with our experts for radio, TV or print, are available on request. Photos are also available.

For information about content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact PR Managing Editor, Marita Kelly, +001 667 312 3532,

Twitter: @inliving

About International Living

Since 1979, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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